Maybe I shouldn’t have tried that oyster?

I had been planning a birthday dinner for months.

There were a few of us from work who had accumulated quite a stack of gift certificates to our restaurant, and we decided to take the night off and come in to treat ourselves with some great food.

As the day approached we grew more and more excited to be the ones waited on. We even had hotel reservations at the swanky JW Mariott, downtown. Upgrade to the concierge level with access to the lounge for free cocktails, breakfast, etc.? You know that happened.

The day finally arrived.

I treated myself to a massage earlier in the day and a bubble bath shortly after checking in to the hotel. The room had a killer view and everything was going perfectly. I wasn’t just happy, I was elated, complete with a perma-smile playing on my lips.

We all got dolled up (we go big when we aren’t wearing the bow tie) and met for a pre-dinner cocktail in our concierge lounge. After a glass of wine, we strolled over to our place of work to be wined and dined upon.

Around the time we ordered our appetizers, I began to feel a little off. Something was weird. My stomach ached and I began feeling light-headed.

NO! I thought, as it continued to progress.

I went out to get fresh air, I tried drinking gingerale and water, I tried to barf, nothing was working.

After the salad course I informed my friends that I would not be able to tough it out, and had to go back to the hotel.

I spent the rest of the night curled in a ball and occasionally sprinting to the bathroom to yak.


This is something that would happen to me. I am not even surprised.

However, when every single person asked if it was alcohol induced, I was very happy to say that it was not, but thank you for assuming the best in me.

That was one great night gone quickly awful.

Last night? It was good from beginning to end.

I met up with my best friend for dinner at a precious little restaurant that sits right on a lake in East Grand Rapids. Fireplaces, warm lighting, birds chirping in the enclosed patio – it was wonderful.

When I arrived, I pulled up to their complimentary valet parking. The guy that approached was striking. I rolled down my window to inform him, “My dog is in here, are you okay with that? He’s super friendly.”

“Fine by me, I have six at home.”

“It’s six dollars?”

“No, it’s complimentary.”

“Really? Sweet. Oh, six dogs, wow! Sorry, I think I’m borderline deaf.”

And then I trusted the handsome stranger with my most beloved four-legged friend.

We ate pizza, drank sangria, laughed and laughed, and decided to top the night off with some after dinner drinks at my house.

After stopping at the store and dropping off Ashley’s car, I decided I had to go back to see if the handsome valet guy was single.

Now trust me, I have seen several attractive men throughout my life, and every other time, I continue on and merely think about the adorable stranger I saw. I was tired of being such a wimp.

We drove back to the Valet Parking, and the handsome guy approached once again.

“Hey, it’s me again.”

“How’s Coop doin’?”

“He’s great! Just ate all my pizza leftovers while I ran into the store. Hey listen, I don’t usually do this, but I grabbed my friend here and decided that I just had to come back and ask you if you’re single.”

“I am.”

“You got me when you told me you went and checked on my dog while I was inside”

(smirks from both ends)

“Any way I could get your number?”

“Yeah, of course.”

And that’s how I grew a pair and asked a guy for his number.

My dog is great for getting me out of speeding tickets and picking up guys, apparantly, because I’m positive it’s not my awkward pick-up lines.

I highly recommend doing something outside your comfort zone today. It’s exciting.

To all of you, because I’m really happy you read this on occasion,